Teachers applying for jobs in Colorado Springs District 11 are in for a bit of a shock. There will be standard parts of their interview, of course, such as meetings with administrators and other teachers. But those interviews will also include much younger, smaller faces: students. It’s all part of the next-generation learning effort happening in several districts across Colorado.

What educators in District 11 and other Colorado districts are trying to do is find ways to prepare students for a future we cannot predict. After all, ask most anyone and they’ll agree: Today’s world is not like it was 10, 25, or 50 years ago. The one thing we can expect from the future is more and greater change.

Since we can’t teach student recognition, the best route is to help them build the skills they need to anticipate and adapt to nearly anything. That starts with empowering students to be active learners and fostering skills such as agility, critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

(Next page: How 3 districts are offering next-generation learning)

About the Author:

Paul Beck joined the Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) in 2015 as manager in next-generation learning initiatives. He leads the efforts to support personalized learning across the state of Colorado. In addition to his work with personalized learning, Beck leads work with networks of schools and districts in design thinking and school redesign.